When not wet or contaminated with food or oil, cardboard is recyclable. It is also naturally biodegradable, but it’s always a good idea to put it in the recycling bin instead of leaving it as litter.
Frequent Cardboard Recycling Questions
Do tape and labels need to be removed from cardboard before recycling?
Tape and labels can be left on cardboard, as they are usually removed at recycling facilities.
Will anyone buy cardboard?
Yes, but corrugated cardboard is abundant and the market demand for the material isn’t nearly as high as other materials. It is generally bought and sold in bulk.
Can wet cardboard be recycled?
No. Wet cardboard can clog the automated sorting machines that are used at most recycling and sorting facilities. Throw wet cardboard in the trash to avoid contaminating an entire recycling load.
Can pizza boxes be recycled?
The corrugated cardboard in pizza boxes is itself recyclable, but like any paper product, cardboard is no longer recyclable once it is tarnished with grease or food.
Do boxes need to be broken down before recycling?
Yes. Boxes that aren’t fully flattened are much more difficult to transport and present problems for mechanisms in the cardboard recycling process.